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Here are the regions Austin ISD is using in its plan to close schools

Monday, April 29, 2019 by Claire McInerny, KUT

Austin Independent School District announced in February its plan to close and consolidate some schools. Now it has a clear plan for how to choose which schools.

To make this decision, AISD administrative staff divided the district into seven regions. The regions aren’t based on attendance zones and don’t match school board districts. The point is to make sure closings and consolidations don’t happen in just one area of the city.

The district and board of trustees are going to decide which schools to close in the context of these regions.

“We’re going to have different targets by region,” said Matias Segura, AISD’s operations officer.

This means each region will have different priorities for what they want to get out of the process. For example, one region might say they want more dual language programs and more AP classes at the high school, while another region prioritizes relief of school overcrowding and better teacher retention.

Once each region’s priorities are set (which the board will approve in May), district staff will start experimenting with ways to meet each region’s goals. Eventually, this will lead to consolidating some schools.

Segura says by focusing on the needs of the different regions, closures shouldn’t happen only in the areas where schools are under-enrolled.

“If an underutilized school has a good program, the facility is in good condition,” Segura said, “I mean that school could very well become a welcoming school.”

Segura said these conversations could also lead to adjusting attendance boundaries for schools in the various regions.

The district is collecting input about what people want to be considered for each region.

The board of trustees will vote on approving which schools to close in October.

Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT.

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